Hard News by Russell Brown

Boing Boinged!

So we found out what happened to our US-based server yesterday - and although it was terribly inconvenient, now that I how cool the reason was, I really can't feel bad about it. We share a box with another CactusLab-hosted site, Misshapen Features, which belongs to Bruce Ferguson.

And out of the blue on Wednesday, Bruce's site did 72 gigabytes of traffic. The American hosting company, noting the site's customary traffic levels, figured that the box must have been compromised and throttled its bandwidth. What the hell, you may be wondering, happened there?

Well, Bruce got a link from the world's most popular blog: Boing Boing, where Cory Doctrow enthused over "Starlords ... an incredible, funny mashup of the Star Wars and Lord of the Rings movies, featuring a Wookie/Orc war, a Gandalf/Yoda disco-fight, and some of the slickest, sharpest editing I've ever laughed my ass off at."

And as you might expect after such a review, a hell of a lot of people promptly went to download Starlords, from the same box as us. Normally, this wouldn't have been a problem, but because the traffic came all at once, it filled up all the slots that the Apache server makes available - hence the crushing slowdown in all the other services on the same box.

So we got Slashdotted by BoingBoing. Would is it correct to say we were BoingBoinged? We checked with Cory, and he said that "Boing Boinged sounds about right." So "Boing Boinged" it is.

Once Karl had got off the plane, CactusLab did a really swift job of installing a more appropriate server for Bruce (Boa) and things are basically back to normal now.

Starlords is, indeed, an absolutely amazing piece of work; oodles of Kiwi pride and all that. And better yet is the backstory. The original idea came from Matt Gibbons, who proposed it to Bruce at a party, and subsequently spent hours in Bruce's studio putting it together (Bruce crafted the animation elements). The extraordinary thing is that Matt - a dancer/choreographer in real life - is a novice who taught himself to edit video by doing it.

The link to the mash-up is here. The big version is a 37.5MB download. It'll be slow, but get in there.

I'm not in the mood to further discuss unbundling and the like for now, save to note that the call by Bill English (Bill English?) for David Cunliffe to resign over the leaking of the Cabinet paper to Telecom would seem to be National's desperate attempt to distract public attention from Maurice Williamson.

It would seem more germane to insist that Telecom tells the inquiry exactly what it knows. NB: Telecom said this morning that it did not destroy the paper - that is, the evidence - as reported in today's papers, but rather destroyed copies it had made. So it made copies of a paper it wasn't supposed to have? Was that before or after it told the government what it had?

Some Daily Show - a great little clip on Bush's petrol price moves, and recent Iraq news.

Meanwhile, YouTube has taken down its clips from Stephen Colbert's White House Correspondents' Association Dinner performance, after a complaint from CSPAN, the broadcaster. But oddly, Bush's turn at the same event (which was actually pretty good - the guy has comic timing if nothing else) was not subject to notice and is still there on YouTube. How odd.

So will YouTube be undone by its own escalating success - and embittered former uploaders?